In our current economic state, it seems as though everything is in short supply and almost everything is more expensive than it was only 18 months ago before the pandemic ground things to a halt. With all of that considered, many homeowners are looking at ways to reduce their home costs, make things more efficient, and generally lower their overall home’s financial liability.
Reducing your home expenses doesn’t have to be drastic. Sure, you can make big changes like remodeling old rooms, adding insulation, and upgrading appliances and systems, but there are simple, less expensive ways to lower your home’s costs. Here are some of our helpful hints to reduce home expenses.
Look at Your Electricity
For most homes, electric usage is the biggest monthly cost. In order to reduce your electric liability and lessen your dependency on the electrical grid, consider making some upgrades in your home to lower your overall electrical costs.
First, replace your home’s lighting with high-efficiency LED bulbs, trims, and consider even adding motion-activated light switches in less-often used rooms such as closets and bathrooms. Replacing your lighting with LEDs can save you potentially several hundred dollars per year, plus LED lights often have longer lifespans than traditional incandescents and emit less heat.
Another major way you can lower your electric costs is to replace your appliances. If you’re hanging on to that aging refrigerator, washer, or dryer and your appliances are more than a couple of decades old, then you can definitely benefit from updating your appliances. Today’s modern appliances cost a fraction of the electricity, water, and resources.
Replacing all of your appliances can be costly, but it can also save you hundreds of dollars per year.
Seal Up Your House
Drafty or poorly insulated houses practically leak money. Older homes or homes built on pier and beam often have places where outside air seeps in and exchanges with your precious conditioned or heated air. Those air gaps can cost you hundreds of dollars in heating and cooling costs throughout the year, but this is an easily remedied problem.
Takes some time to re-seal or insulate places where cold or hot air infiltrates your home. For many homeowners, this can mean replacing weather sealing or weather stripping around doors and windows or insulating small pieces of your wall or home where air seeps through. Places where homes notoriously leak air is under kitchen cabinets, under sinks, and anywhere piping penetrates the floors.
The simple fix for this is to use canned spray foam available at your local hardware store or by stuffing fiberglass insulation into larger gaps and sealing it so pests can’t enter. Finally, if you’re looking at really lowering your heating or cooling costs, consider insulating exterior walls, your attic, or underneath floors. This can be costly upfront but can generate major savings over time.
Lower Your Mortgage Payments
One of the biggest and least expensive things you can do is lower your mortgage payments. While lowering your current payment may not work with your financial plan, you can reduce your overall payment by refinancing or paying down your existing mortgage and therefore lowering your interest liability.
If you haven’t explored refinancing in the past five or so years, then now is the best time to do it. By refinancing, and scoring a lower interest rate, then you can reduce your overall payment rather significantly. Additionally, if you need money for some of the home upgrades we’ve mentioned above, then you can pull cash out to finance those upgrades.
To get started, get in touch with Tidewater Mortgage Services, Inc. today!